The US Department of Transportation claimed that the Chinese government's "failure" to approve the requests by US airlines to resume flights to China was "a violation of our Air Transport Agreement".
Hong Kong and Macau, though part of China, have their own aviation authorities and set their own rules.
That effectively banned USA carriers from entering the country because they had already halted flights to China by that date, according to the feds.
But since all major USA airlines had suspended passenger flights into China in late January, to control the spread of the pandemic, they were excluded from the schedule of flights that were allowed to resume.
Asked what it heard from Chinese regulators about its status, United said in a statement, "We look forward to resuming passenger service between the United States and China when the regulatory environment allows us to do so". -China routes in June and have submitted applications to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to do so, per CNN.
US airliners Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have been pushing the Chinese government to restart U.S. It said airlines would be limited to flying on routes where they were already licensed to fly, and could choose from a list of Chinese cities provided by the CAAC. The Chinese foreign ministry expressed regret at the USA announcement and said CAAC was "making solemn complaints" to the Department of Transportation.
The Trump administration is also cracking down on Chinese passenger airline charter flights and will warn carriers not to expect approvals.
The dispute is also a departure from the type of bilateral agreements that the US government has pursued for decades that aim to make it easier for airlines to expand to global airports without onerous government approvals.
New vehicle sales of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.in China surged in May, the manufacturer said Thursday, underscoring that its business in the country is on a recovery track with concern over the new coronavirus outbreak easing.
In a statement made by the Ministry of Education in China, there is an estimated 410 thousand Chinese students in USA universities that are expecting to return to China as far as possible. Four Chinese carriers have maintained flights to and from U.S. airports.
Before the pandemic, there were about 325 passenger flights a week between the United States and China, including ones operated by United, Delta and American Airlines. While carriers must maintain minimum service levels to receive the assistance, many petitioned to stop service to airports with low passenger demand.